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Microsoft "SiteFinder" Quietly Raking It In

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the all-your-typos-are-belong-to-us dept.

Microsoft 176

An anonymous reader writes in with the news, which isn't particularly new, that Microsoft's Internet Explorer sends typo domain names to a page of pay-per-click ads. In this endeavor Microsoft joins Charter and Earthlink in profiting from the dubious practice that Verisign pioneered but failed to make stick. The article is on a site whose audience is, among others, those who attempt to profit by typo-squatting, and its tone is just a bit petulant because individuals cannot hope to profit in this game on the scale Microsoft effortlessly achieves.

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176 comments

Even if it is from Microsoft... (3, Interesting)

brennanw (5761) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175106)

It's weird, but I don't mind Sitefinder. It's a lot less annoying than the people who set up sites that spawn eight and a half billion popup ads. I suppose Microsoft really can be the lesser of two evils... ... oh, God. I didn't actually say that, did I?

Re:Even if it is from Microsoft... (5, Insightful)

DaleGlass (1068434) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175234)

Sitefinder is EVIL. While this is just fine.

Sitefinder was implemented with a wildcard DNS record. This means that any typo gets resolved anyway. So suppose there's a mail server running on that machine for some reason. Now all the mail you send to the wrong domain name gets sent to that server instead of failing directly.

In this case, two things may happen, both of them very undesirable:

If it bounces, then that will confuse many people as they won't realize they made a typo and think they got the account name wrong, or that the person cancelled their account. It also results in your probably private mail getting sent to some random server for absolutely no good reason.

The more evil possibility is that the server will accept your mail, which would be the exact same thing they do for websites. Then maybe it will reply with an ad, or perhaps just keep it. Anything can happen in this case really.

This is the problem with sitefinder: DNS isn't just for websites, and it would break quite a lot of things.

On the other hand, IE sending the user to some page with ads is perfectly fine. It's IE specific, it doesn't interfer with your mail or anything else, and it's probably a configuration option you can disable. And you certainly won't get it if you don't use MS software.

Re:Even if it is from Microsoft... (2, Interesting)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175364)

Mmm, I think Sitefinder only resolved/resolves A records, not MX records. Your mail would STILL bounce with NXDOMAIN, providing I'm right. In Charter's case, that is the case. Not aware of how it worked with Verisign and Earthlink.

MX-records are optional - SiteFinder really evil (5, Informative)

mi (197448) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175628)

Mmm, I think Sitefinder only resolved/resolves A records, not MX records. Your mail would STILL bounce with NXDOMAIN, providing I'm right.

In the absence of an MX record e-mail gets delivered to the A record — MX records [wikipedia.org] are optional. If none is found, the request is made for the A-record, and that gets used instead.

Re:Even if it is from Microsoft... (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175676)

A records are all that is required for mail. Most mail servers I've seen will use the A host record for the domain without a hostname assuming that the destination server would route the mail accordingly. I ran a domain that way for a short period of time and it mostly worked. There were a few issues but it works in a surprising number of cases. The MX record is only required if the destination mail server is different from that of a root server which hopefully is most cases.

I could have been smoking crack and dreamed the whole thing up but I'm pretty sure even modern mail servers support this. In either case its up to the mail server on how to handle domains without MX records. Sitefinder is still evil and wastes bandwidth and time. I don't like Microsoft doing their less invasive approach but I didn't like the generic page all versions of IE would direct you too, if I got my site wrong I want an error damn it. Of course for most people I imagine this is helpful.

Re:Even if it is from Microsoft... (0, Redundant)

secolactico (519805) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175788)

Mmm, I think Sitefinder only resolved/resolves A records, not MX records.

Some MTAs will attempt to deliver to the A record directly if it can't find the MX. If said host doesn't respond to smtp, you *might* get one of those "This is a temp problem. No need to resend your message. Will try to deliver for a few days" messages.

Mod parent up (0, Redundant)

mi (197448) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175580)

This is, indeed, a crucial distinction, which makes Microsoft's practice benign compared to the evil of SiteFinder.

Re:Even if it is from Microsoft... (1)

newdsfornerds (899401) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176472)

> Sitefinder is EVIL. While this is just fine. The above does not scan. WHAT is just fine?

Re:Even if it is from Microsoft... (1)

DaleGlass (1068434) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176644)

What MS is doing. See the article.

Re:Even if it is from Microsoft... (4, Funny)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175938)

... oh, God. I didn't actually say that, did I?

You did. And if you had prefaced it with "you can mod me down for this, but ..." your post would probably already be +5 Insightful. :)

Re:Even if it is from Microsoft... (2, Insightful)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176384)

Whats wrong with a perfectly normal DNS error?

Re:Even if it is from Microsoft... (1)

ghostbar38 (982287) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176780)

Don't you like blank pages? I do!!

obligatory (4, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175108)

Microsoft's Internet Explorer sends typo domain names to a page of pay-per-click ads

Typ0wned!

Re:obligatory - Don't you mean... (3, Funny)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175966)

Typ0wned!

Don't you mean: TyPwned

Oops !! (4, Funny)

.Chndru (720709) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175114)

It took me long to come here and post this since I was searching for slahsdot.org on IE..

Re:Oops !! (2, Funny)

crunchly (266150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176388)

You obviously are lying. No self respecting slashdotter would use IE. Use a real browser [isc.org] .

Re:Oops !! (4, Informative)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176602)

The last time /. released browser stats, which was, IIRC, before the rise of Firefox, it actually ended up showing something like 70%+ of users were IE, to which there were a lot of hasty "oh, uh, well, I guess it's people having to use IE at work, or something..."

And Google (4, Informative)

dedazo (737510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175124)

Rakes in millions (billions?) from shady parked domain farms that run AdWords.

Re:And Google (1)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175520)

Is that you Dr. Evil????

Re:And Google (2, Insightful)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175538)

shhhhh. Just because Microsoft is invariably mentioned in any story about Google, that doesn't mean that you can mention Google in any Microsoft stories.

Pioneered (1)

Petronius.Scribe (1020097) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175128)

Did Verisign pioneer it? I seem to recall that Microsoft's "feature" came before Verisign tried to do it universally.

Firefox? (1)

bigtangringo (800328) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175130)

I wonder if this might be something the Firefox side of the house could use. Rake in additional cash for the Mozilla foundation and help users. Given the relationship they already seem to have with Google, I doubt this would prove too much of a problem.

Of course, an option should be available for users who do not wish to use the service.

Re:Firefox? (1)

Ralconte (599174) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175404)

I thought Firefox was doing this. Don't they openly admit they get revenue from Google by sending searches their way? On that point, has anyone had any problems using a Google image search from the default Mozilla/Google startup page? Never worked for me, I have to go directly to the real Google page. Then again, I block Google cookies, so that could be it.

Re:Firefox? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175572)

I have the same problem.
Also with going to groups from the Moz/Go page. I think the Moz/Go links are set to an older version of the google main page.

Re:Firefox? (4, Informative)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175858)

No, Firefox is not doing this! When you type in a domain name that doesn't exist, you get the following:

Server not found

Firefox can't find the server at www.feiwona.org.

  • Check the address for typing errors such as ww.example.com instead of www.example.com
  • If you are unable to load any pages, check your computer's network connection.
  • If your computer or network is protected by a firewall or proxy, make sure that Firefox is permitted to access the Web.

(Note: "domain name" means something in the form foo.TLD, not just a word. Words get interpreted as search terms, which do get sent to Google.)

Re:Firefox? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18177160)

I believe you're very wrong. Firefox always did this in the default install, and it was annoying as hell (when I used to use Firefox -- I use Safari now). The sad part is unlike IE, there was no easy way to disable it... you had to go to about:config and filter for some obscure setting (don't remember off the top of my head) to disable it. I remember having to do this on every Firefox install I ever used.

Re:Firefox? (1)

cheese-cube (910830) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176626)

So Google would, in a way, be like Robin Hood: stealing from the rich and giving to the poor or in this case supporting non-profit works through shady acts. You know stealing is still stealing regardless of your motives.

Policeman: You are under arrest for robbing Fort Knox!
Google Lackey: But it was to support FOSS!
Policeman: Get in the car.

Re:Firefox? (1)

bigtangringo (800328) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177174)

Please, explain to me how it's stealing.

This isn't even in the same league as SiteFinder. (5, Insightful)

JanusFury (452699) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175134)

SiteFinder broke DNS for the purpose of making money. This is just a 'feature' similar to the one in Firefox that automatically performs a google search on things you enter into the URL bar if they aren't valid addresses; MS is just taking the idea further (and making money off it, because they love money). I can see people being miffed by the fact that there are ads on the search page, but it's not as if Google doesn't have ads on their search pages.

This is basically just a bunch of advertisers and domain squatters getting upset because Microsoft and Google are making money and they aren't.

Re:This isn't even in the same league as SiteFinde (4, Informative)

RajivSLK (398494) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175508)

Firefox makes money off of it too. Google pays Fire Fox a lot of money for those searches.

Re:This isn't even in the same league as SiteFinde (3, Informative)

jcorno (889560) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175596)

This is just a 'feature' similar to the one in Firefox that automatically performs a google search on things you enter into the URL bar if they aren't valid addresses

That's not true. If it actually looks like an address to Firefox (i.e. it has a period in it and no spaces), then you get a "Server not found" page with the "Try Again" button. The important thing (to me, at least) is that Firefox leaves the url alone when this happens, so you can just correct your mistake and hit enter. IE makes you delete the long address they put in there and start over.

Re:This isn't even in the same league as SiteFinde (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18175718)

This is just a 'feature' similar to the one in Firefox that automatically performs a google search on things you enter into the URL bar if they aren't valid addresses

That's not true. If it actually looks like an address to Firefox (i.e. it has a period in it and no spaces), then you get a "Server not found" page with the "Try Again" button. The important thing (to me, at least) is that Firefox leaves the url alone when this happens, so you can just correct your mistake and hit enter. IE makes you delete the long address they put in there and start over.


So, just to be clear, you have no problem with the forwarding to a search page. Your only issue is that the old URL gets removed from the address bar? That sounds like a UI fix that would take a novice programmer 2 hours to fix and test.

Re:This isn't even in the same league as SiteFinde (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175730)

No it doesn't, it gives you the original address you typed in the search field so you can just correct it and hit search or copy and paste it back into your address bar. The Try Again approach is nicer in my opinion but it doesn't make it harder to see what address you entered to begin with.

Re:This isn't even in the same league as SiteFinde (2, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175892)

Compared to leaving it in the address like Firefox does, IE's practice of forcing me to copy and paste it back from the search field is incredibly (and needlessly!) annoying.

Re:This isn't even in the same league as SiteFinde (2, Informative)

Binestar (28861) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176310)

Compared to leaving it in the address like Firefox does, IE's practice of forcing me to copy and paste it back from the search field is incredibly (and needlessly!) annoying.

Tools -> options -> Advanced -> Scroll down to "Search from Address Bar" -> [*] "Do not search from addressbar"

Re:This isn't even in the same league as SiteFinde (1)

moochfish (822730) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175886)

Good! I hope Microsoft keeps this up.

Firefox searches for you while Microsoft dumps you on an advertisement. Which do you think the consumer appreciates more?

This is short term cash for long term losses.

Re:This isn't even in the same league as SiteFinde (1)

kurt555gs (309278) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176174)

Well, CUSTOMERS would know the difference, consumer sheep probably wont know any better. Is this a surprise that M$ profits from the ignorant?

Cheers

Re:This isn't even in the same league as SiteFinde (4, Informative)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176952)

Could you be any more misinformed. MSIE drops any nonexistent addresses (assuming you didn't configure it not to) into your default search engine. That can be Live, Google, Yahoo, Altavista, Ask.com, Baidu, even Dogpile if you're crazy. If you prefix it with "http://", then IE will NOT search for you, it will bail with "Cannot find server". There is no money for Microsoft if you a) set a different search engine as your default, b) disable searching from the address bar in Internet Options or c) enter in an address that CLEARLY is a domain name (i.e. has a protocol prefix) but is not correct

Oh, and the consumer likely appreciates Microsoft's approach more. Stop spreading idiocy.

Re:This isn't even in the same league as SiteFinde (1)

malfunct (120790) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177096)

I'm not a mod but I wish I was. This is exactly the point I want to make. If you change the default search you go somewhere else. In IE 7 this is fairly easy (choose "Find other search providers" from the drop down next to the search box) and google and a number of other search engines are available to be set as the default search engine with only a couple clicks.

Re:This isn't even in the same league as SiteFinde (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176206)

SiteFinder broke DNS for the purpose of making money. This is just a 'feature' similar to the one in Firefox....

As I recall, Microsoft was already doing this back when Verisign put SiteFinder in place. Maybe it wasn't loaded with ads at the time, but they were redirecting unresolvable domains to MSN search or something. It was widely held up as the right way to do it -- in the one application for which it was, well, applicable -- rather than SiteFinder's wrong way, which changed the response for every single network application, including those that relied on the previous specified behavior.

Re:This isn't even in the same league as SiteFinde (1)

ghyd (981064) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176288)

"This is just a 'feature' similar to the one in Firefox that automatically performs a google search on things you enter into the URL bar if they aren't valid addresses" No, No. Firefox will ony get you there if you enter the (usually) correct name, otherwise it does not land you on a "google" or "mozilla" page with ppc ads. One one side you have a service which is useful and Spam, on the other side you have just a useful service.

This isn't SiteFinder. This isn't news. (4, Insightful)

JacksBrokenCode (921041) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176322)

From TFA:
Fire up Internet Explorer and try this right now. Enter Lexus-Financail.com into your address bar and hit enter. (If you're on a different browser, click here to see the results you would get.)

I type "Lexus-Financail.com" into my address bar and IE automatically routes it to a Google search that suggests Lexus-Financial.com. Whenever IE doesn't find a server that you type in the address bar, it redirects to a search using your default search hooks. Mine are set to Google and it uses Google to search. If IE just showed a blank "Server not found" page it wouldn't be broken, but it could easily be argued that using your default search provider to try and find your intended server (in event of a "not found") is useful behavior.

At the end of the day, this isn't "evil" behavior. They aren't preventing people from accessing a legitimate site, they are providing relevant search results instead of a generic error screen. They may garner some ad revenue in the process but they haven't programmed the browser in a way that they are the only ones who could benefit from the behavior. And unless the user is paying their ISP per-bit at an extremely expensive rate, there's no monetary damage to the user.

Re:This isn't even in the same league as SiteFinde (1)

MeNeXT (200840) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176934)

I don't know where you get your info but my default installations of Firefox never bring up Google.....

Re:This isn't even in the same league as SiteFinde (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18177024)

If you do a fresh install of a >=2.0 version this happens. It doesn't happen on upgraded versions.

OMG! (0)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175182)

I mean, other companies like, say, Google would NEVER display ads on a search result page, and directing the user to a search page if they mistype a URL is such an annoying idea. (And I'm sure MS would never let you change which search engine these results go to.)

OMG M$ TEH EV1L!

Only if your default search engine is Live (5, Informative)

prostoalex (308614) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175190)

That happens only if your default search engine is Live.com.

Going to http://www.lexus-financail.com/ [lexus-financail.com] site in IE 7 with no default search engine yields

Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage

Most likely causes:
You are not connected to the Internet.
The website is encountering problems.
There might be a typing error in the address.


So if you want to make untold millions as well, build (a) search engine and (b) popular web browser, and make (a) the default in (b).

Non-Issue (4, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175316)

Going to Lexus-Financail.com takes me to Google. Wonder why? Oh, of course, Google is my default search page... Wonder how that happened?

Really, I think this is a "non-issue". You're not locked in to Live.com or any other search site. Microsoft "makes" Internet Explorer, why wouldn't they set the default to Live.com? Why shouldn't they? You can always change it...

The search goes to your search provider of choice (1)

Em Ellel (523581) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175356)

Yep, I second that, on my DELL provided machine, the default search engine is DELL branded Google, and it is providing the paid ads from Google on the search.

I have to agree with whomever said that this is nowhere near as bad as SiteFinder - you have full control over this and it does not break DNS service. Besides, what do I care, I stopped using IE years ago.:-)

-Em

At least... (3, Insightful)

SinaSa (709393) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175228)

Well if you're gonna do the wrong thing, you at least might as well do it the right way.

Verisign literally broke DNS in their attempt. This cash grab is confined to software that can easily be switched from.

Re:At least... (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175300)

This cash grab is confined to software that can easily be switched from.

And not just that, but confined to a set of options in that software that you can easily change. You don't even have to change from IE.

This article is total BS (5, Insightful)

SashaMan (263632) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175240)

All IE7 does is go to the search page OF YOUR CHOICE if you misspell something. I have IE7 configured with Google as my default search engine, and when I type in lexus-financail.com I go to Google's search page, which I find is a very helpful feature.

Sheesh, it's like people don't even TRY with the FUD anymore.

Not BS. Legitimate Complaint. (0, Troll)

Erris (531066) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176526)

All IE7 does is go to the search page OF YOUR CHOICE if you misspell something. I have IE7 configured with Google as my default search engine ...

Who cares if you can change your settings, this is just another sleazy way for M$ to sell eyeballs. The authors are angry because M$ both decries typo-squatting and practices it. The net result of their defaults is to violate the tradmarks of other companies by typo squatting, how's that for IP respect? Hypocrisy and sleaze are nothing new in Redmond. Nor are changes in defaults. I'm sure your next Windoze update will obliterate your defaults. They would not want all of the ppc revenue going to Google now would they? Of course it won't because the vast majority of Windoze users who use IE will just accept anything and everything M$ shovels at them until they finally give up computers all together.

An honest browser reports your error, "An error occurred while loading http://poopydoo.com/ [poopydoo.com] Unknown host poopydoo.com." This prompts users to look again or maybee to use their Google bar with a reasonably worded search. Users confounded by a pile of advertisements are going to be confused more than anything else. IE7 is not an honest browser because M$ is not an honest company.

Re:Not BS. Legitimate Complaint. (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176770)

Who cares if you can change your settings, this is just another sleazy way for M$ to sell eyeballs.

Funny, if I replace that "M$" with Google re Firefox, it seems to fit the same mould.

The authors are angry because M$ both decries typo-squatting and practices it.

Diddums for them. The authors are typo-squatters. You'll forgive me if I really couldn't give a fuck if they're angry. Guess who else decries and profits from typo-squatting? Google.

Nor are changes in defaults.

Like when my Firefox start page went from mozilla.com to google.com, you mean?

I'm sure your next Windoze update will obliterate your defaults.

You can be as sure as you like. Don't make it true, though, twitter. Fnnily enough, you can even update the entire Windows OS without losing browser defaults. FUD.

Your sockpuppet account is about the only account that carries less credibility in this place than your 'real' account, twitter.

No Firefox is not evil. (2, Informative)

Erris (531066) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176868)

Funny, if I replace that "M$" with Google re Firefox, it seems to fit the same mould. ... Like when my Firefox start page went from mozilla.com to google.com, you mean?

My homepage has never been changed by any gnu/linux distribution. I can't tell you what happens on Windoze.

When I make a typo in Konqueror I get the error message quoted before. Firefox gives the following:

Iceweasel can't find the server at www.poopydoo.com. * Check the address for typing errors such as ww.example.com instead of www.example.com * If you are unable to load any pages, check your computer's network connection. * If your computer or network is protected by a firewall or proxy, make sure that Iceweasel is permitted to access the Web.

That is not a typo squat or selling of eyeballs, it's honest reporting of an error.

Enjoy your favorite OS, it's enjoying you.

Re:No Firefox is not evil. (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176990)

Really. And when I typo stuff in IE I get Google search. After upgrading Windows twice. And upgrading IE three times (even through an IE version rollback). And countless numbers of Windows updates. Why? I set Google as the default. Hell, I can even choose to not even see that.

Is that froth coming out of your mouth? Crap, watch it he might have rabies...

My test with IE 7.0 (1)

ad0gg (594412) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175246)

Have google set as my default search engine and it took me to http://www.google.com/search?q=lexus-financail.com [google.com] . Thats without the http:/// [http] part, as per the article. If I put the http:/// [http] part, it gives me a 'Cannot find server or DNS Error' error page.

Article is misleading - it's not just MSN/Live sea (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18175248)

I tried what the article said to do. I have Google set as my default IE search engine. It just did a Google search for the incorrect domain. This seems like a feature (albeit one that I dislike) rather than some money grabbing scam.

Come on, if we want to bash MS, and especially IE, we can do much better than this.

This is inaccurate. (4, Informative)

eieken (635333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175256)

The Sitefinder you mention is nothing of the sort. What you are experiencing is IE7's auto-search feature. If you set your default search to Google, you'll get google search results with the same thing as IE.

Here [defhoboz.biz] is the first page from the blog, with me typing in the same search as the blog does.
Now here [defhoboz.biz] is what I get after I hit enter.

Every ISP not already doing this (1)

winkydink (650484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175280)

is actively testing it. From their perspective, it's free money.

Re:Every ISP not already doing this (1)

DaleGlass (1068434) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175338)

And also lots of bad publicity, which isn't good money.

These two things are completely different: IE loading a page if the domain doesn't resolve is one thing, breaking DNS in the SiteFinder style is another, and affects much more than just websites. SiteFinder would also make what MS is doing not work, by the way. With both this and SiteFinder, you'd get SiteFinder when you made a typo.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sitefinder [wikipedia.org] for details on why SiteFinder is a bad idea.

Re:Every ISP not already doing this (1)

winkydink (650484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175964)

I was referring to the note that Charter and Earthlink are already doing this. I'm not defending the practice or saying it's a good idea. The US consumer ISP space is a commodity business and any way to bring in more money is being actively looked into. It boils down to a tradeoff of income versus the goodwill of your customers. The SiteFinder approach is less broken (but broken nonetheless) if you are a consumer ISP than if you are a gTLD.

fucking rediculas.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18175294)

the whole domain system is fucked. look at the absurd pricing of the domains.. yes 9.99 a year is EXPENSIVE.. if you aren't a millionaire with some nice program that grabs peoples domains you are basically fucked. (unless you are using Linux wget, lets hope that source code is int tainted and phoning home somewhere) anyhow, another total fucking scheme is the domain watcher services that godaddy and other domain registrars have. You basically sign up and they monitor whether or not a domain is going to expire soon. Well they are buying up EVERYTHING anyone signs up and monitors. It's basically free money, which is the domain system. Verisign has complete controll still, and everything smells of fraud from the top down. why can't anything be done honestly? human nature blows..

Re:fucking rediculas.. (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175434)

You have no idea what you're talking about. Verisign has NO control beyond administrative. ICANN controls everything, and mandates what the ccTLD registries can do. Verisign only does what ICANN allows. And stop bitching about your USD$9.99 a year. In NZ, our domains are NZD$30 a year (with NZD$2.75 per month going to our central registry, and the infinitesmal profit for the actual registrar)

Re:fucking rediculas.. (2, Insightful)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175438)

look at the absurd pricing of the domains.. yes 9.99 a year is EXPENSIVE

What?

I'm a grad student. If I had gone out into industry I'd be making probably six times what I am while I'm in school. I'm cheap: I don't have a car, I have an apartment rather than a house, I'm using a mostly 4 1/2 year-old computer. The one thing I splurge on is living alone. And I don't think that $9.99/yr is expensive.

Discover Magazine is $25/year.
The cheaper of the two local papers has a special on delivery of $40/20 weeks ($104/year at the intro rate -- $214 normally)
I pay about $10/month for phone; most people seem to pay at least 3x that if they have a cell

My hot water comes to about $10/month, my electricity and gas to $50/mth, my heat the last two bills to $90/month (and the newest bill will probably be rather more once I get it), and my rent to $625/month.

Most people have car payments plus insurance of (I think) over $100/mth.

$9.99/year is 83 cents/month. At federal minimum wage, that's 6 minutes 20 seconds per month.

If you think that's expensive, then you don't need a domain.

Re:fucking rediculas.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18175604)

It's not about afordability. It's about expense that is inflated.

What does it actually cost to register a domain?

What does it actually cost to put a new entry in a database?

"registrars" are essentially a business without a product. They exist soeley because it was easier to let them steal money than it was to set up a system normal people could use.

People aren't complaining that the cost is so high they can't afford it. They are complaining that something like this even HAS a cost associated with it.

How do you feel about spending 1$ a month for the privelage of breathing? It's cheap right? A steal at the price really. Still, not something you'd be happy about most likely.

Re:fucking rediculas.. (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175760)

It's not about afordability. It's about expense that is inflated.

True, but what's the alternative? Price it at one penny and have every dictionary word snatched up in the next 5 minutes? Heck, at that price I could afford to buy the entire OED in domain names. Imagine what someone (or some company) with actual MONEY could do. If anything, it would reduce availability to most people because everything would be taken.

And besides, who's to say it's overpriced? People are willing to pay it -- and lots of people, including poor grad students -- therefore it's hard to argue that it's overpriced. The demand is there.

How much does it cost Cingular to have a customer? Certainly more than it would cost someone to register a domain; but the more I use my phone the more I pay Cingular. (I have a pay-as-you-go plan.) Does it cost them 10 cents more if I talk to someone 3 minutes instead of 2 minutes? Maybe they should be charging me 1/10 penny per minute instead of 10 cents.

My point is that it's far above cost for them, but so what? That isn't a bad thing, and it's not like it's priced so high that it's at ALL a hardship if you want one.

Re:fucking rediculas.. (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176252)

You, sir, need to enroll in basic economics, stat.

Or at least search the net for the words "supply" and "demand."

Re:fucking rediculas.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18177094)

or maybe your could understand the difference between a monopoly and a free market?

Re:fucking rediculas.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18175470)

I agree that the domain system is fucked (at least in its current incarnation), but how the hell is $9.99 / year expensive? I guess you just can't satisfy some people.

Sheesh (3, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175296)

This article is stupid. It's just takes you to the default search engine (which is usually Microsoft), and offers you a spelling correction, which then performs the search. THEN it shows you the search results, which has -- ADS. OH MY GOD!!

In other news, typing the same string into Google (or any other search engine) also shows search results -- WITH ADS.

Man, I've really busted the conspiracy WIDE ASS OPEN.

Re:Sheesh (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18176510)

Man, I've really busted the conspiracy WIDE ASS OPEN.


to post goatse, or not to post goatse, that is the question...

I don't see it (1)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175302)

When I type in their mis-spelled domain name into IE6's address bar, I don't get the advertising page they say I should. All I get is the page from IE saying the hostname couldn't be resolved.

I think the article is conflating two things: manipulation of the DNS network to return actual A records for domains that don't exist vs. IE redirecting any request that yields a DNS error to a pre-configured page. The first breaks all uses of names, the second only breaks IE. The first is a fatal problem because it affects software that doesn't have a human being to interpret the data, may not be able to handle contact with arbitrary hosts and may easily depend on getting accurate "record does not exist" answers from DNS. The second is merely a major annoyance because there's usually a human being sitting there to see the page, get annoyed and fix the configuration so that doesn't happen again.

Like firefox is of any use (1)

Reverend99 (1009807) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175314)

type in the wrong domain and you get an error page. Microsoft offers likely candidates to what you're searching for. A few times I've typed in invalid domains within IE, and MS came up with a link that was correct. Firefox gives you a "Try Again". Yeah... MS is so fucking evil for making a few pennies for making my life easier.

FireFox and Google... (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175342)

FireFox has its default page set to Google. Wonder how much that rakes in for Google (and Mozilla)? Come on folks, good for the goose and all...

Dont "search from the address bar" (1)

dkt5 (644128) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175416)

Searching from the address bar is an option in IE7, as it was in IE6 and others before. If you dont like this behavior (regardless of your search engine), just turn it off!

The user still has a little bit of control with this part, unlike Verisigns' overdone version. (for once. Nice of them, innit)

Nothing to see here... (0, Offtopic)

shakestheclown (887041) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175424)

Marked as lame.

Inaccurate, and not to mention this kind of thing is listed as a feature of OpenDNS...

OpenDNS is the Solution (4, Informative)

AntiMac (100361) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175464)

I highly recommend OpenDNS, available for free at http://www.opendns.com./ [www.opendns.com] They also redirect your typos to a search page, but you can brand the pages with your own logos. They provide many other useful services such as phishing site blocking and DNS usage statistics. You don't even need an account to use their DNS servers, if you don't want the statistics and custom settings.

I have 7 /24 networks registered with them now, and I can't thank them enough. I have zero DNS problems now, and it even seems much faster.

Re:OpenDNS is the Solution (2, Informative)

AMSRay (992267) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176530)

Thank you! I'm reading all the way down the list of comments thinking "OPEN DNS!, OPEN DNS!" How can any self-respecting geek not know about Open DNS? I've set all the routers at my company to use their DNS servers regardless of which ISP the connection uses. Sure they have some adds if you hit a typo for a domain name, but the proceeds pay for this FREE service. We've had zero problems with DNS issues since I switched. opendns.org

I'll farking bury Google!!! (0, Troll)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175592)

Watch for chairs. This is like the Sitefinder hackery, only much worse - its built into the app you're using. Rather than you choosing to use Google or some MS engine, MS has built your browser (and face it, IE _is_ the Intarweb for most people) to automatically use ITS search engine.

As far as the poor IE7 saps know, Microsoft IS Google.

Re:I'll farking bury Google!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18175876)

Watch for chairs. This is like the Sitefinder hackery, only much worse - its built into the app you're using. Rather than you choosing to use Google or some MS engine, MS has built your browser (and face it, IE _is_ the Intarweb for most people) to automatically use ITS search engine.

You fucking moron. I don't even use Windows, much less IE, and even I know there's an option to change the default search engine. Did you give any thought at all to your post or just take the FUD bait hook, line and sinker and dive in to make an outrageous bullshit post?

How do you morons manage to breathe?

Why don't Open Source browsers do that? (0, Flamebait)

mi (197448) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175696)

If the browser developers don't need the money, there are enough good causes to contribute to. Being a browser-only thing (unlike SiteFinder, which messed up DNS for all programs, including e-mail), this is not evil — so just do it!..

Hurry... (1)

sachu (608279) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175720)

Register Lexus-Financail.com, make it another http://www.milliondollarhomepage.com/ [milliondol...mepage.com] and send 2% to me for the idea :) Thanks.

DEFECATE!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18175782)

AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHHHH!!!

asdflk4wqoraselkfjdasfgmk4w098udsaflkj!#$%asdlfkj4 ljdsaflknjas 09874235lkjsadflkajsdfio4ju35lknmasd.fk,gmfadsgklm 4309usadlkgfsd.afm423589ualsdkfgn.234m5sd 09w4eu5rojksdgf;lm34q09usdfglk;j dsfgoijweraptoiuasdf;lgjkeral;kj0394q5u8lkdfzj gaeriotju039876df;lzkjmar;ogjtraet089u734tlkjnzsdg lkmaret g

Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted!
Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.

Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted!
Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.

Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted!
Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.

Absolute fud - Google does the same... (4, Interesting)

Aphrika (756248) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175874)

Try typing Lexus-Financial.com into Google...

Apart from getting the two results that link back to this specific story, at the bottom, on big letters, you get Did you mean to search for: Lexus-Financial.com

This is just straight MS bashing for no reason - chances are that if you typo'd, you'd probably be looking for the suggested alternate. If you typed the same stuff into Google and spelt it correctly, chances are your first link would be a sponsored one at the top.

I mean, if a search engine helps you fidn what your looking for, it's doing its job. if it makes money while it's doing it, so what?

Re:Absolute fud - Google does the same... (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176358)

I mean, if a search engine helps you fidn what your looking for, it's doing its job.
I tried to look up the word "fidn" in the dictionary to understand what you were talking about, but my dictionary didn't have anything other than ads for California's Fashion Institute.

Re:Absolute fud - Google does the same... (1)

sartin (238198) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176588)

I tried to look up the word "fidn" in the dictionary to understand what you were talking about, but my dictionary didn't have anything other than ads for California's Fashion Institute.

I looked up "fidn" on Google and the first thing it said was "Did you mean: find".

This is stupid, but... (1)

Perseid (660451) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175908)

...not nearly as bad as what Verisign did. The reason Sitefinder was dangerous is because it has the potential to break things. If an internet-based program relies on a valid server not found error it will break if it gets a ad page redirect. Granted, that would be unusual, but that's not the point. It's been that way since day one. If it's not broken...

whatever happened to the kid www.mikerowesoft.com? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18176014)

Five years from now he's going to kick himself, if he hasn't already. He surrendered his domain name to Microsoft for what, an Xbox and a trip to Redmond, when he could've been cashing on people's typos on 24x7x365 basis the same way Microsoft and others do.

And he had ironclad rights to the url, too.

It gets worse... (1)

dr.badass (25287) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176032)

I'm a Charter customer/victim, and the first thing I did upon discovering the new "feature" was disable it. Of course, it's not that easy. Disabling Charter's site-finder bullshit just replaces it with Microsoft's site-finder bullshit, because that's Internet Explorer's default, and apparently they thought that nobody would notice. I notice because I'm using Safari on a Mac, and Windows Live search sure as hell isn't the default behavior for me. "Disable" is supposed to mean "stop doing that", not "do it differently and pretend you've stopped."

The way I see it, if they want to intercept any of my failed DNS queries, they can have them. All of them:

sudo ping -f charter.please.stop.breaking.the.internet.you.cock tards

Re:It gets worse... (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176168)

Wow, that's fucked up. I hope they at least left port 53/udp open for you so you can use another DNS server.

Re:It gets worse... (1)

tji (74570) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177054)

Yup, I'm in the same boat. Lately their DNS has been extremely shitty too. So, even requesting a valid name is slow and often fails.. a lookup for www.google.com failed and took me to their page. Of course, I opted out (which is bullshit, because it's cookie based and thus cannot help for non-browser apps), and it took me instead to microsoft's search rather than responding correctly with a DNS error. I'm also using a Mac, so the Microsoft search site is definitely not my default search.

So, I changed my router to use DNS servers I configured: 4.2.2.2, 4.2.2.3, 4.2.2.4
Those servers behave correctly (as defined by the DNS RFC's) so I no longer have Charter's crap. Unfortunately, 99% of Charter customers will not realize what's happening and will suffer because of it.

hahaha (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18176098)

MS corp spying on you from Windows 2000 times, if you as about DNS and even earlier - about keyloging in "some" version of software(debug, beta and etc...) from nt2 times and earlier ? who knows ? :) what else abou corp - sue-ing inoccent(he's NO purchase by self PC w/ preinstalled "no genuine" OS :) shool teacher and talking about "inproving" US Shool :)) of couse - "improving" by push out some mac's ? :) or even Linux box ? i'm not think so.. so bad idea of bad, bad guys here.... another bad idea.

Re:hahaha (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177042)

Whatever you've been smoking, stop. You don't have enough brain cells left to kill.

Stolen tech! (2, Insightful)

sabernet (751826) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176214)

They stole this feature from Firefox! How dare they!

Seriously, since when is defaulting to a -chosen- search engine being monopolistic? I mean, technically, AOL sent you to AOL's search page whether you liked it or not.

There are plenty more things to be critical of MS then this, don't waste perfectly good flame time on silly things.

Why is this on the front page? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18176352)

News for nerds, stuff that matters?

IE and other browsers have had a "search from the address bar" feature for a long time. And it's user-configurable.

So this isn't news and it doesn't matter.

pity us poor typists (1)

ichbineinneuben (1065378) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176370)

Changing the default search engine to Google only fixes part of the problem of the address bar. Unlike Firefox or earlier IE incarnations, the text field won't assume "http://" if you type a URL. Instead it initiates a search, using the default engine. Pity those of us who are used to entering URLs by keyboard... sad, retro-grouches that we are...

non-story (3, Insightful)

spitzak (4019) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176390)

They are using the 404 response correctly, this is what it was designed for! IE is trying to do something intellligent when it knows that the page is missing. What verisign did was fool every program (including IE) into thinking *all* pages exist, which breaks anything that wants to respond in a useful way to the page being mistyped.

I checked on a Windows machine, and they even let you change it! Didn't even bury it too deep in the configuration! You can go to google or bash-microsoft.net and thus the mistyped domains probably can hurt them!

Microsoft does plenty of evil and stupid things, but this is not amoung them.

Re:non-story (1)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177004)

No kidding. When I saw this, my first thought was "it's like SiteFinder, how it should have been implemented". The problem with SiteFinder wasn't that it redirected mistyped web addresses, but that it did it at the DNS level, which screws things up. If you're going to do this at all, doing it in the browser is exactly right.

so don't use IE (0, Troll)

wardk (3037) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176400)

sheesh, what are you people, idiots?

So... learn to type... (2, Insightful)

BarnabyWilde (948425) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176426)

...accurately.

End of problem.

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